Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Press -- 2016 Estate Blend

For this year's estate blend, I left the skins in the fermenter to allow for more color. After a week of fermentation, the must had turned from it's original pink color to a dark purple. It was time to remove the skins by pressing the grapes.

The Syrah skins turned the wine dark
The skins had absorbed a lot of the juice crushed out. So I had to do some pressing.
Looks gross
To accomplish this task, I found a nice bowl in my cabinets and brought out some cheesecloth. Additionally I located another mason jar to "rack" the wine into.
Looks like the beginning of a bad scene of a horror film
I first started by decanting any of the must not trapped by the skins into the new jar, using the cheesecloth to filter out any seeds or skins that may have fallen.
That might be enough wine to last an ant colony a year.
I then took a larger piece of cheesecloth and dumped out the seeds and skins into it inside the bowl. To extract the juice, I would have to press out the liquid trapped inside.
A little wine goes a long way
Almost 3/4ths of the total liquid extracted came from pressing the skins. Quite amazing how much wine I would have lost if it weren't for this operation. It took a while before I was satisfied with this press.
A very effective press
After a good long press, I loosely covered my new mason jar and set it back into the darkness. I'll rack that wine again soon once anything floating around settles out.
I took a little taste of this wine. As I predicted, it's very tart and somewhat bitter. This is a sign of high acid content. I think this will settle out with some aging. I'm very tempted to throw a few oak chips into the next mason jar to see if that will impart any good flavors.
It's wine! All wine!

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